From D.M. Youngquist
Hello folks. Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve put up a blog or a note or anything else. To be honest, I’d gotten away from the writing end of things somewhat, but now that I’m back, I’ll be contributing more as often as I can.
Let me give you my definition of a small press. A small press is usually comprised of people either crazy enough or ballsy enough to try to be publishers on their own. Probably a little of both. I believe we here at Dark Continents Publishing are made up of folks like that. We got our start as writers, and got tired of putting up with all the industry BS, and set out to do it better.
I’ll let you in on a little secret though: When your muse leaves you, and give you the cold shoulder, you’re going down the wrong path. My muse clammed up weeks ago. Writing was pretty much gone from my life. I was stagnant. Why? Because I let the business take the fun out of writing.
Now don’t get me wrong. Business and industry are important. People have to know about you, They have to know you’re out there. They have to know you actually publish books.
Guess what? The industry and the business know we’re here. From the other publishers to our printers, “the business” knows we’re here. Seems like most of the people who don’t know we’re here are you folks. The people who buy and love books. The end consumer.
Confession time. My day job is working in one of the ACE Hardware warehouses. I sling freight all day. Looonnnggg days now that we’re well into spring. If you live in the Midwest, and shop at ACE, there’s a good chance I’ve handled your merchandise at one point.
And one thing about ACE, is it consistently wins awards for customer service and satisfaction. Not Menard’s, not Lowe’s. Your little ol’ corner hardward ACE store.
So, since we’re a small, indie press, and the industry knows about us, what I want to do this spring and summer is for all of us at Dark Continents to get to know our customers better. Our readers. We want to hear from you. What you like, what you don’t like about our books.
“Well, they do that with their purchases,” industry would say.
This is true, to an extent, but don’t we as writers devour every review of our book by the hundreds of reviewers and bloggers out there? We live or die when we read someone found a missed comma or a misspelled word.
But what about the true critics? The ones that matter? The people who buy and read the books? Are we telling them a good story, or are we trying to produce what the industry wants?
That’s why I’m going to start trying something different. We’ll be running weekly questions about books, the industry, and other various issues, but we’ll be putting up reviews by friends and people who have read our books. Not just mine and the board here, but all our books, from Quiet Houses to Campfire Chillers to Blood Curry.
Some of the advance copies we have coming for Dan Russell’s The Collector will be going to readers as well. It sounds strange, but who do you go to for your movie and music reviews? I’d rather know what my buddy Rick Clancy thinks of a movie than Rex Reed.
We’ll mix things up. Don’t worry. We’ve got some great reviewers who look at our work, and I don’t want to miss Andy or Jim, but for the last few months we’ve been too wrapped up in what some folks call the incestuousness of the industry (I’ve got another phrase for it, but my Momma taught me to be polite in public) and we’ve lost track of our true goal.
And what is that? Bringing quality stories to the readers out there from great talent. Simple as that.
Now, speaking of the salt mines, I have to head for work. People need garden hoses, by golly, and I’ve got a warehouse full of them.